Just because you or your loved one is disabled does not mean your backyard should be declared off limits to them merely by its design. To attain a fully accessible outdoor space, you must pay close attention to your yard’s design. If your plans include the installation of composite decking on your landscape, follow these guidelines to make sure everyone can gain easy access to this outdoor social hub.
Ramps Not Stairs
One of the hardest things for disabled people to navigate are stairs, especially in the case of wheelchairs. If your deck is built above ground level, be sure to incorporate a wheelchair-amenable ramp that also prevents tripping for the disabled not needing a wheelchair. It also reduces the strain of negotiating steps for the elderly who wish to access the deck.
If the egress is available, a ramp gradient of 1.15 is suggested to attain optimum safety for the disabled or physically impaired person.
Keep Hold of the Handrail
If you’re unsteady on your feet, the presence of a handrail can save you from falling and resulting injuries. Handrails can consist of any material you prefer and offer an attractive finish to a fence or barrier. Make sure the handrails extend around the perimeter of your decking and down any installed ramps or stairs.
Keep Pathways Wide
To allow a wheelchair to move easily up a ramp, between deck fixtures and furniture, a width of at least 1 meter proves ample for navigation.
To optimize steadiness for the disabled, minimize texture variations on the deck’s surface, such as ripple or ruffle effects. Everyone can then traverse the deck naturally and without worry.
Make Use of the Furniture
If you or your loved one are prone to running out of breath easily and needing to sit down, locate enough furniture around your deck and outdoor space to accommodate such persons. Besides the furniture’s amenability to the less mobile deck visitors, it also facilitates many functions on the deck, such as family gatherings, parties, or outdoor dining occasions.
Composites such as timbertech decking lend themselves to designs intended to welcome anyone, no matter their mobility. Contact a reputable supplier for advice on how to adjust your designs.
Tips on Garden Design for All Disabled Gardeners, CarryOnGardening.org.uk
Garden Design for the Elderly and Disabled, FlowerPotMan.com